Call me a screaming liberal, or terribly naive, but the celebration of Osama bin Laden’s killing makes me terribly uneasy.
Yes, I know he was largely directly responsible for the tragedy of 911. It’s tempting to get into the arguments about how the attack might have been avoided, or how ben Laden might have been captured and tried. It’s also tempting to decry the wars that G.W. Bush started, and I do, but I don’t think that’s the point of what I’m feeling.
Maybe it’s the fact that our military killed him, in a dangerous, brave, and sanctioned attack that at a minimum should raise questions about government sanctioned killing. I keep feeling like we should be better than that, that we could, if we worked at it, find less violent solutions.
Then, when it’s announced over and over again that we should all be on super-alert in case of retaliation, I’m convinced that what the result with this event will be in unknown.
I’m not the only one who is uneasy. Kevin Eckstrom of the Religious News Service posted Is it OK to cheer Osama bin Laden’s death? There Christian ethicist Diana Butler Bass asked:
“What if we responded in reverent prayer and quiet introspection instead of patriotic frenzy?” she posted on Facebook. “That would be truly American exceptionalism.”
My internal response to this statement is a loud YES!
There was a moment following the collapse of the Twin Towers that the world was united in horror and in a desire for, I think, world peace. I don’t know if that moment was squandered or just couldn’t be sustained. For many I know it was a moment for the kind of quiet introspection Butler-Bass asks about.
Maybe we can pause and realize that if we ever needed to be in Afghanistan, that reason is now gone, or dead.
Signing a petition is such a small thing, but it is a start.
I’m also going to continue my ‘quiet introspection.’
How do you feel about ben Laden’s death?
Love and blessings,
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